Blogs > Nascar: Beyond the Track

Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Earnhardt-Ganassi team can’t leave Montoya all alone in 2010

At first glance, it may seem that Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, formed last year out of necessity so two once-great teams could survive, is doing well considering the circumstances.

To a certain extent, that is true. The team’s top driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, just entered 12th place after a strong Sonoma finish and is now an official contender to make the Chase.

That is great news for a team that some doubted would last long. But storms are on the horizon. Montoya’s teammate Martin Truex Jr., who sits 22nd in points, is on his way out the door, most likely to Michael Waltrip Racing, leaving only one man … Montoya.

In today’s NASCAR, where multicar teams dominate and win almost every race, that’s not going to cut it. So it’s crunch time at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.

There is no exact recipe, but whatever they do this offseason must involve one thing: Getting some kind of teammate support for Montoya.

This could come in several forms. If the team wants to continue with this year’s model, they will have to find a sponsor for the #1 car, and find a driver who can do a decent job in 2010. Given the current economy, that could be a tough thing to do.

But there’s one idea being kicked around that I think would work even better, and that is the team switching to Toyota and the formation of a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing starting next year.

The Toyota move makes sense, as Ganassi has had many dealings with them in open-wheel racing. And the Gibbs alliance, kind of like what Marcos Ambrose and the JTG Daugherty team have with Michael Waltrip Racing, would essentially make the EGR team a fourth Joe Gibbs car. With all those cars to share information, Montoya would be in a good position to once again battle for the Chase.

But if neither of these things happen, and EGR shows up in 2010 with just one car, Montoya, and no teammate or information-sharing arrangement with another team, look for the team to struggle next year.

There’s no such thing as a one-car team that is going to be able to compete with the massive superteams, so EGR has a lot of work to do in the next six months.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home